The good news is – we’re not at the bottom. The bad news is – we’re nowhere near the top either. Arizona is ranked an uninspiring 29th in the annual state obesity rankings.
The report, from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows Arizona’s obesity rate at 28.9 percent. Colorado has the lowest obesity rate (21.3 percent) while Arkansas’ is the highest at 35.9 percent.
Ours is one of 45 states with an obesity rate of at least 25 percent. From Mother Jones:
“Though only five states saw increases in adult obesity last year, researchers noted little improvement to the nation’s weight crisis overall: The average American adult is 24 pounds heavier than in 1980, when obesity rates were less than half of their present levels.“
According to US News & World Report, no state’s obesity rate was above 15 percent in 1980 and no state had a rate above 20 percent in 1991. Today, more than 30 percent of adults, nearly 17 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds and more than 8 percent of children aged 2 to 5 are obese.
The health consequences related to obesity include:
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
Finding ways to lower Arizona’s obesity rate is one of the many solutions needed if we are to one day reach our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!